Do You Feel Stuck?

Sharon Jaynes Dealing with Your Past, Dreams of a Woman, Expectant Living, Forgiveness, Living Free, Living Fully 86 Comments

 

That’s exactly the quandary I found myself stuck in several years ago.

After I had gone to college for two years, I returned to my hometown to work as a dental hygienist. But the following spring, I felt a tug to return to college and continue my education. I prayed and looked into various programs, but couldn’t get clear direction from God. Not to decide is to decide, and I did not return to college.

The following spring, I began to feel the same tug and the same cloud of confusion. Along with my disturbing uncertainty, I began to have flashbacks of violent childhood memories that involved my dad.

One night I visited one of my mentors and asked him to pray with me about what I was to do with my life. In the course of the conversation, I also mentioned the flashbacks. After listening to my dilemma, Mr. Thorp began our prayer time by turning to various scriptures.

First he read: Matthew 6:8-15.

For your Father knows what you need before you ask him.  This then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Then he turned to Matthew 18:19-22

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?  Up to seven times?”

Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.”

Each time Mr. Thorp turned to a passage about God answering prayer, there was a verse about forgiveness either before or after it.

“Sharon,” he said, “I sense God is telling you that you have unforgivenes toward your father.  It that true?”

I wanted to say, “Wait a minute.  I came here to pray about my future, not about my past.” But [tweetherder]God was showing me that unforgiveness in my past was impeding His work in my future.[/tweetherder]

At that time in my life, I had been a Christian for seven years and my dad had become a Christian just the year before. I did not even realize that I had not forgiven him for the pain he had caused in my childhood.  Now, when he made a mistake, all those old feelings I had toward him resurfaced like hot lava lying beneath a dormant volcano waiting to explode.

God was showing me that in order to get unstuck and move forward, I needed to forgive my dad.  Until I obeyed, my dreams were going to be interrupted by His hand.

That night, I forgave my father for everything he had ever done. Even the ashes were blown away and God replaced the bitterness with tender, inexplicable love for my dad. When I forgave my dad, God set me free.

Interestingly, the next day, the cloud of confusion lifted. I applied to college in late spring, even though the head of the department told me it was too late, and the program I desired to enroll was full.

They told me the only way I could get in was if someone were to drop out, which was very unlikely.

Confident that this was God’s plan for me, I resigned from my job and looked for an apartment near the college campus. Ten days before the start of the fall semester, the head of the department called and said, “You won’t believe this, this never happens, but someone dropped out of the program. We’d like you to come in the fall if you can make the arrangement.”

I could believe it, and the arrangements were already made. I enrolled in the fall and met my husband 6 weeks later. Nine months later, I became his wife.

I am not saying that when you forgive those who have hurt you, you’ll strike it rich, find the man of your dreams, or live happily ever after.

However, I do believe that [tweetherder]unforgiveness can be a dam stopping the flow of God’s power in our lives and the wellspring of His blessings.[/tweetherder]

The Greek word for forgiveness, aphiemi, means “to let go from one’s power, possession, to let go free, let escape.”

Bible teacher Beth Moore explains,

“In essence, the intent of biblical forgiveness is to cut someone loose. The word picture drawn by the Greek term unforgiveness is one in which the unforgiven is roped to the back of the unforgiving. How ironic. Unforgiveness is the means by which we securely bind ourselves to that which we hate most. Therefore, the Greek meaning of forgiveness might best be demonstrated as the practice of cutting loose the person roped to your back.”

Forgiveness has nothing to do with whether or not the person deserves to be forgiven. Most of the time he or she does not. It has everything to do with the person doing the forgiving and his or her desire  to be free.

And let me tell you a little secret, the person or people that we hold a grudge against, the person or people we’re not forgiving…they don’t care.

That’s right, most of the time they don’t care and more often than not, they don’t even know that we are walking around with the albatross of unforgiveness hanging around our necks.

It is like we’re banging our own heads against the wall and saying, “Here, take that!”  The only person hurt by unforgiveness is the person choosing not to forgive.

I must always remind myself of how much Jesus has forgiven me. My offenses have been many.  How can I not forgive others? When we cut someone loose, take them off of our hook and place them on God’s hook, we are setting ourselves free. It is a gift we give ourselves!

Forgiveness is not easy. When Jesus told Peter to forgive his offenders seventy times seven, Peter immediately said, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5).

But friends, the price for not forgiving those who have hurt us is very costly. It can cost us our dreams.

Is there someone you need to cut loose today? If so, leave a comment that says, “I’m cutting him/her loose. I’m letting it go!”

Be free, my friend.

Want More?

Forgiving those who have hurt us is one of the themes of my book Your Scars Are Beautiful to God: Finding Peace and Purpose in the Hurts of Your Past.  Click here to read a sample chapter.

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Comments 86

  1. Enjoyed reading your written words today. They spoke volumes to my soul. It was if you were writing the words just for me and I believe the Lord wanted me up early this morning so that I would not miss the email that held your writing in it. Sometimes my day gets hectic and I only have a chance to skim read the titles of the many emails I receive on a daily basis; but not this morning.

    I have been feeling stuck; but reading my Bible daily plus going to a weekly Bible Study where Beth Moore’s devotional workbook is used, has given me the opportunity to work on myself in a more diligent way. Used to be rush, rush, rush even if there was nothing to rush about in my life. I’m very grateful to Christian women like yourself and Beth Moore, who have the gifts of spirit to write so eloquently about the Lord, his mission and help those of us who read your writings to apply the Lord’s inspired writings to our lives.

    Thank you for sharing such thought-provoking words that motivate myself and others!

  2. Am letting go and forgiving the pastors and the congregation of the church i used to fellowship with i let them loose , i cut them off me. thanks for sharing woman of God and God bless you.

  3. Hi Sharon,
    I can’t tell you how blessed I was today after reading your column.
    I have been feeling stuck in my life for some years now. When I was you s , I lost my parents and was raised by aunties and an uncle plus my grandmother that were very hateful and mistreated us very much. Everytime my life feel stagnant or am going through a big frustration , I have these flashes of my çhildhood and the village I was raised up. It’s like I always go back there in my dreams . Today after I read from you , I felt The Lord urging me to forgive those who did me wrong together with my elder sisters .
    Please help me pray to forgive my uncle , aunties and sisters.
    I just like you forgive them but when they do something wrong, I blow up like a volcano remembering all the hurt they caused me. Please help me.
    Also pray for me as am
    Due to have surgery to remove some fibroids and pray that God provides me wîth finances to pay for it. Also please pray that I will be cancer free and that one day God will bless me with a child.
    Thankyou for your inspiring columns.
    God bless you
    Esther

  4. I made a lot of mistakes with my children when I was young. My daughter has forgiven me but my son I feel has not. Please pray that we will be become closer. I forgive any one who hurt me in my younger years and also who may hurt me the rest of my days. Please god keep me in your prayers. I truly love you. I still make mistakes, but want you in my life every minute…Amen

  5. Sometimes God needs to hit me over the head with what He wants to reveal to me. This devotion was a clear-cut message with stunning similarities to my life. I am cutting him loose! I’m letting it go! Many thanks, Sharon, and to my Heavenly Father for His unfailing love and wisdom.

  6. This is so timely. Although I’ve done a lot of forgiving of my husband, there’s obviously still more that is hindering me and my dreams.
    I’m cutting him loose! Choosing to forgive.
    Praise God for the freedom that is coming, that is mine!

  7. I,m setting them free, thank-you for your massage today it really hit home because I have been having a hard time forgiving them. I have cut them loose forever.

  8. Father, I want to forgive. I want to “cut loose” the person that has hurt the family so much. Please help me. Thank you. In Jesus’s Name, Amen

  9. I’m letting them go. Im cutting them loose and moving forward. Thank you Jesus for using what Satan meant for my harm and turning it around for your glory.

  10. I am cutting him loose!! This was a good reminder for me! I just didn’t even think that I was needing to forgive someone. But when I saw the word “offender” that stuck me. It not even me he did too. (its my daughter! we are have a really hard time with this today) It is very hard because we just found out in this July. And it is a fresh wound. Just writing this makes me cry. But I know now that I need to forgive this man (neighbor).
    Thanks to God that He gave you this in your mind to put this out, for me and many others out there.
    God Bless,
    Cindy

  11. Dear Sharon ,
    I LOVE READING EVERYTHING YOU AND THE LADIES IN GIRLFRIENDS I
    GOD POST 🙂 I READ YOUR MESSAGE ON FORGIVENESS AND IT REAL
    MADE ME THINK THAT PERHAPS I AM STILL WALKING AROUND WITH
    THINGS THAT I NEED TO LET GO OF MYSELF.
    WHAT MY BIGGEST PROBLEM IS TODAY IS I STAY VERY ANGRY ABOUT
    PEOPLE WHO DO NOT LIKE ME FOR NO REASON, MEANING I HAVE NO
    DONE ANYTHING TO THEM HONESTLY TO MAKE THEM FEEL THAT WAY
    THEY HAVE MADE THEIR OWN DECISION TO TREAT ME WRONG ?
    I WANT TO THANK YOU PERSONALLY FOR ALL THAT YOU DO I FEEL
    AS IF I HAVE REALLY GROWN AND I AM GROWING MORE AND MORE
    EACH AND EVERY TIME I READ YOUR MESSAGES. AGAIN THANK YOU.

    SINCERELY,
    KIMBERLEY LEONARD

  12. I’m cutting him loose, I’m letting it (him) go….. thank you for that, the offense happened a week ago today and then again on Sunday. I’ve said iit with my mouth that I had forgiven him, but still harboring it in my heart until I read your devotion….Thank you and God Bless!!!!

  13. I am cutting my parents, my husband,my children, my in laws, my brothers and old friends and other Christians and pastors and step relatives free through forgiving them all because I want to be free.

  14. I am cutting him loose right now!! Jesus is so gracious to forgive me and I thank you so much for making all this so clear to me. I never realized how much of a burden this is to me and yes it is holding me back. The ironic thing is I love this person very much. I don’t like the acts against me but i do love this person. Thanks so much!!! Just like Jesus forgives us i now in Jesus name forgive him and it’s forgotten too. Now to move on!!! Thanks so much!!!!

  15. I’m cutting two sister in law’s loose. I am letting it go!!!! Forgiving them because I want to BE FREE!!!!!!! Thank you Sharon for this devotion…God Bless You!!!

  16. I’m cutting my ex and his family loose. They did not mean to harm me and do not know the pain they’ve caused. My God is greater than deception and he will perform a miracle in our family, by faith in Christ’s name and by the power of his blood.

  17. Sharon, Thank you for your message- I want to be free- and not harbor animosity towards my husband for offenses that have a hold on him- I want to be able to forgive without anger, and move forward to a brand new day without carrying the offenses around my neck as I walk through my day- ” I want to let it go” !

  18. I’m cutting my parents, brothers, sister-in-law, and daughter-in-law loose. Please help me lett it go! Thank you, Jesus, Amen.

  19. “Sharon, I must tell you your devotional today is spot on. When was I finally able to forgive? When did I realize just what you said about the albatross around my neck? When you were the guest speaker a few years ago at the Eliot Baptist Church RENEW and you gave out index cards and you told us to write down at least 3 people we were still harboring ill feelings toward, hanging on to hurt. I immediately wrote down my 2 former bosses and my neighbor, who had written us a scathing letter, attacking the fact that we went to church on Sunday. As soon as I walked up to that wooden cross, index card in hand, and the woman handed me a hammer and a nail, and I nailed that card to the cross, I began to cry because I felt a flush come over me of peace. It was gone! I went home and threw out the file folder I had on this man, 2 inches thick of ways I was going to justify why I was a good employee and he should not treat me the way he did.
    Praise God – Jesus has forgiven me and while I am still not sure of what God’s plan is for me, I am not being held hostage anymore. Thank you and thank God!”

  20. I am cutting my sister loose, and letting it all go even those that are yet to come. I am letting go and just seeing her for how God sees her and not how she treats me or mine or her family.–Just when I think I have forgiven everyone God gently reminds me that I have not, asking why are still holding on to this unforgiveness let it go it is only hurting you.

  21. Hello Im stephanie ive been abused in the past by an ex boyfriend I’ve thought for years I had forgiven that person but as the years go by and something happens to me that hurts Me in anyway that hurt and abuse that I endured from my ex boyfriend resurfaces and causes alot of bad memories to trash my thinking and causes not just me pain again but my family. I have suffers also and that is not right today. Is my second daughters 12th birthday. And today Im letting him loose answer I m forgiving him for everything he did to me and Im letting him go I hand all my hurt to god because I know how wonderful our god is and Im a child of his I know as a mother i don’t like to see my children suffer do as a child of god I no longer will suffer because. Our god is and forgiving and so am I . In Jesus name amen

  22. I am cutting Tim loose. I want healing and restoration. Father, heal my heart, take away this pain. Remove the block so I can move forward with you!

  23. I’m cutting him/her loose. I’m letting it go… Thanks Sharon for sharing this…. I’m so glad to read this as I’m stuck, and now i know what is block..

  24. Lord God I am cutting him lose I forgive him I know he don’t care I forgive him anyway thank you lord God for setting me free to live the life you planned for me.

  25. Father God, you brought me to this link for a reason. I know that I bear so much when I expect others to be perfect. and not “hurt” me. I am sure that most of the times that I feel hurt, that person doesn’t even realize it. God I want to let it all go! I want to be free of all the unforgiveness strapped to my back. I can’t even go back and tell you why most of it exists, it is just there dragging me down. I want to forgive my dad, my mom, my sister, my ex, and myself. God I’m not perfect and I want to stop trying to be! Thank you for loving me just as I am!

  26. I am cutting them loose! I want to be free in Jesus’s name! God take whatever abilities you have given me to bless others. I know that two of my greatest dreams will envolve tons of forgiveness on a daily basis. I am willing to go forth and be strong, but oh I pray you would give me the strength and the courage to do so. I don’t want to be stuck anymore; I want to start living out the life you’ve called me into that your name may be praise and others may blessed! I ask this all in Jesus’ name. Amen!

  27. “I have so many to cut loose!! I’m cutting myself loose too!!
    God bless you for your teaching!! I love your devotions!”

  28. I want to forgive him for breaking my heart but it haunts me the memories of the heart break,, its consuming me I don’t want to live in my past and memory I want to prosper and move towards my future with pureness in my heart no pain or confusion. Our father in Heaven please help me forgive and let go please bless me with your LOVE AND SPIRIT,,,,Amen

  29. I am setting him free because I can’t live any longer with the “hot lava lying beneath a dormant volcano waiting to explode” feeling.

  30. “Dear Sharon,
    A friend of mine sent me this link about a month or so ago. I just finally clicked on it and read this. It was like God knew today would be the day that I needed to read this and and work in my heart began to forget those that have hurt me in the past. truly does not feel like an easy thing to do to just let go and cut them loose and not look back. Today I ask that you help me pray. Today, I want to start on the path of forgiveness and letting go of these ropes that have been holding me down all these years. We all deserve some sort of happiness and In God we have to find that. Thank you for writing this and helping me understand a little bit of what I need to do to forgive those who have hurt my heart.

    Sincerely,
    Danielle”

  31. I’m letting go of the ones that have hurt me and I want to be set free and grow in my Christian faith. Thank you dear Jesus for setting me free.

  32. I am cutting loose the anger/disappointment/unforgiveness i have toward my mom for not being the same mother to me as she was to my siblings, to my stepfather for being verbally abusive, to old friends i loved and thought i was helping but left me in despair, and to my exboyfriend who i loved dearly but left me. I know that it was God’s way of removing the distractions in my life so that I can be alone and build in Him and glorify His name. I do not want unforgiveness of those in my life to block me becoming what God has designed me to be! I AM READY AND WILLING AND OPEN HEARTED TO BECOME WHAT GOD HAS DESIGNED ME TO BE TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Amen

  33. I’m cutting the in-laws loose! Also any sisters and brothers I have not forgiven yet. Thank you for this blog! It is refreshing and I thank God for all my blessings and giving me good resources to read.

  34. I right now cut my 4 brothers loose for selling the family land, I cut my sister for all the hurt and pain she has caused me, I cut my 3 sisters in law and I release them all. Just as you forgave me and freed me Lord, so do i forgive them and free them now and release them to you. Heal the wounds they have inflicted and flood my heart with your love. Amen

  35. I am cutting him loose this day in the name of Jesus! I can no longer harbor unforgiveness. I want to be free! I’m LETTING IT GO!

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